I've narrowed it down to three......

Oct 5, 2014
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Goshen, Ar
#1
Well, in my last post I asked to be talked out of Nightforce NXS for a steel shooting / hunting rifle. Thanks for everyone that repsonded with the great advice. I have in fact been talked out of that optic, and have expanded my budget to include optics that are superior in every category. They are the Nightforce atacr 5x25 f1 milr, Kahles 6x24i gen3 skmr2, and lastly if can be found a Vortex AMG. Let me know what you think, I look forward to the advice. Thanks in advance.
 
Sep 23, 2014
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NM
#3
I have access to a older mildot NSX, really nice scope. I think older NF scopes are over priced but still good gear. I do own the AMG, it has the features like locking turrets and a hold over reticle but if I found a used or low priced NSX (even in 2nd focal plane) I wouldn't discount it right away. The scopes you listed are all 1st focal so thats probably why the NSX got dropped. When I was looking for a high end scope I did the same, found 3 and started looking for the best deal on it, ended up with a S&B and glad I did.
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#4
I have access to a older mildot NSX, really nice scope. I think older NF scopes are over priced but still good gear. I do own the AMG, it has the features like locking turrets and a hold over reticle but if I found a used or low priced NSX (even in 2nd focal plane) I wouldn't discount it right away. The scopes you listed are all 1st focal so thats probably why the NSX got dropped. When I was looking for a high end scope I did the same, found 3 and started looking for the best deal on it, ended up with a S&B and glad I did.
Yes ffp is the reason I went away from the NXS.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#5
Of those three I would go with the Nightforce simply because I dislike the Kahles (although the reticles Kahles has are far superior in every way).
 
Dec 9, 2009
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Hammond,Louisiana
#6
All of those scopes are great quality. The NF has a ton of adjustment if you really want to stretch out to distance. The Kahles has a center mounted parallax, convenient for left handed shooters and the option for left sided windage for right handed shooters. For a hunting scope, if weight is a consideration the AMG is a lighter 30mm scope. Hope this helps.
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#7
Of those three I would go with the Nightforce simply because I dislike the Kahles (although the reticles Kahles has are far superior in every way).
Do you mind elaborating on why? Reticle choice, eyebox(from what I've read, not personal experience) and glass clarity are the reasons I am considering Kahles.
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#8
All of those scopes are great quality. The NF has a ton of adjustment if you really want to stretch out to distance. The Kahles has a center mounted parallax, convenient for left handed shooters and the option for left sided windage for right handed shooters. For a hunting scope, if weight is a consideration the AMG is a lighter 30mm scope. Hope this helps.
Yes this helps a lot with the Vortex being 30mm tube does this affect performance in low light situations?
 
#9
Yes this helps a lot with the Vortex being 30mm tube does this affect performance in low light situations?
No.

I'm sure any of those scopes will have enough adjustment to get you to where you want to go.

I would make a list of whats important from most important to least and see if that helps.

I'm a fan of the Kahles because of the weigh, feature set, and it has the reticle that works best for me. Having the ATACRs and K624i on personal rifles, if I was in the market again I would go Kahles.
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#11
As far as durability goes, the Nightforce outweighs the Kahles and I assume is more durable. The scope will see hard use on backpack hunts in rugged terrain. Anyone had issue with the Kahles, as far a reliability?
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#14
Do you mind elaborating on why? Reticle choice, eyebox(from what I've read, not personal experience) and glass clarity are the reasons I am considering Kahles.
The reticles Nightforce have are horrible (obviously, in my opinion). But the new MIL-C reticle is at least better than the MIL-R. So it's usable. I like the Kahles reticles more. Beyond that, the Kahles' optical quality is not what I would consider acceptable for a scope of its pedigree and price. Too much chromatic aberration for my taste. Some people don't mind. But I do. As an aside, like someone else mentioned, maybe consider the Minox ZP5 as well. I'd choose that over either the Nightforce or the Kahles. It doesn't tunnel like the Nightforce does. It doesn't have translating turrets like the Nightforce does. It has better reticles like the Kahles does. And the ocular doesn't rotate with zoom like the Nightforce does. But it is relatively new to the market.
 

The King

Showercookie Monster
Sep 17, 2004
963
197
43
Denver, Colorado
#15
Yeah - nightforce needs to get on the in-house tree reticle bandwagon. And yes it tunnels - you know you are looking through a riflescope for sure. The Vortex G2 was the one that tunneled the least IMHO. I'm not saying that the Minox or the Kahles wouldn't survive going over the mountainside....but I happen to know the shitty way that nightforce will.
 
Mar 21, 2012
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#20
Very Impressed with my new Cronus BTR 4.5-29x 56mm 34mm 1pc tube Great reticle and turrets, side-focus marked from 25yds to 1600 then to infinity. 11 settings for illumination, off between each #, fast ocular focus. Lots of tube area for mount systems 2" up front, 2.5" rear. Compact at 14" w/fast focus extended. 35oz w/sunshade. Uses 2032 batteries that're cheap and available at any drug store. Really great reticle layout.

Guy selling one on the board, NIB at a good price. These are under $2000 but the quality in optics and durable tactical build is very strong in every way, including value. Lifetime warranty with service in Kansas City, full transfer, no hassles. 100% made in Japan by the legendary Light Optical Works. Optic rendition is superb. Lots of eye relief, like 3.5-4", sight picture clarity is superb beyond a mile. Even the cheap, $300 -Talos BTR I have will track. The Cronus BTR has zero-stop, remove the turret w/allen or torx set the stop and re-fasten turret The Cronus BTR, mounted in standard Aero Precision 34mm set did not have to be located beyond the most forward slot on an AR-10. The flip-up on the ocular positions right over the charging handle. This is versatility you can use... A great design.

Ergonomics are important, no real need to reach for anything and the magnification ring is not so large that it won't interfere w/low rings. Mag ring and ocular lens element are relatively compact unlike some of the "great glass" scopes that are hard to mount due to design, chiefly short tube length or lack of open tube area. Nice to have the illum control, battery housing, and parallax dial all on the same LH turret. 33mils total elevation and 18mils windage.

Probably not built for night vision tandeming. The $6k, $7k, and $12k S&B and Hensoldts are bound to be "better". Question is, before considering the money aspect; How Much Better? How many other scopes with these features, qualities, and performance? Now, add in the money factor... Why not compare all your options before giving up funding that might benefit you even more if you could deploy another $700 to $2000 on other Top Rated gear? I have always argued that a proper scopesight was more a sight than an optical system. Spend enough, you get "the best" of everyting.... Now you have a new option, and it opens more opportunities for your tactical and competitive endeavors.

 
Mar 21, 2012
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#25
The Athlon Cronus BTR initial shipment for market release happened less than a week ago. While I do have dealer status with Athlon, along with Mr. Optics Planet and Mr. MidwayUSA; I work as a consultant with those who are interested. Were any of my comments meant to mislead or sway? Not a bit...

The excitement of the Cronus BTR is much more than its super competitive price. This is not a sales pitch. More of a revelation. The Reveal of New Opportunity.

Your Opportunity, not mine; not other dealers'. Yours... if you seize it Dare To Compare!

Optic evaluation is subjective. Euro scopes and cameras all have compensated color balance to produce a heightened contrast and crispness to the user. They're different from Japanese or the long bygone American standards which sought neutral balance. We come forums to learn and share ideas, and try to discern what gear we might next choose to make our shooting better.

The Cronus BTR is an opportunity to obtain a new standard of excellence in many more ways than just finer Optic rendition and precision. Compact size is a benefit. Getting more versatility with mount options is a benefit. Zero-stop, superb ergonomics so you don't disturb your position is a benefit. Short ocular lens and mag ring is a benefit... 2032 battery is a benefit. Buy a few cheaply and they store great!

Even if you are not a beginning serious shooter unless some govt agcy or contractor group is buying your stuff; why not see if there is a New, Better Way?

If money is a Big Deal, and when isn't it? There superb quality and similar features with Athlon series at $1000 to $1200 less than the Cronus BTR...

To some degree, in a tactical optic the instrument which offers the .001 level of perfection will mesmerize the operator to attain the Nth degree the optic is capable of. Does the guy with a .05 capable scope benefit from being sooner on the trigger? After all, the scope is a sighting device first and foremost...

What I have seen from my Athlon Argos scopes that sell for under $400 is I had no reason to keep my two Vortex Viper PSTs or any of my 5 Leupold mk4s, although I will be keeping my 6x and 10x Ultra.

While testing grid patterns of 1/16" thickness at 100yds does demonstrate resolution. I need to get back to the airport and test for clarity and recognition at 1000yds. I have 15/20 vision and am experienced with the best camera gear in Lg, Med, & 35mm. Optics are subjective though. Do wish I had 20/15 vision, or was left handed...

More to come on testing, and in a few weeks there will be shooting at 1000yds possible here.

The Athlon products are very exciting and motivating. Dare To Compare. You might just have to SEE The Difference by becoming a user...

 
#26
Yeah - nightforce needs to get on the in-house tree reticle bandwagon. And yes it tunnels - you know you are looking through a riflescope for sure. The Vortex G2 was the one that tunneled the least IMHO. I'm not saying that the Minox or the Kahles wouldn't survive going over the mountainside....but I happen to know the shitty way that nightforce will.
Well they own Horus now soooooooo who knows what will happen.
 

lennyo3034

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 18, 2010
1,795
142
63
33
Southern MD
#27
I don't have experience with the three you mentioned. I was in a similar boat and tried the M5xi. I have not gotten it in yet.

My only experience with Athlon was with a person that had one at the range. The turrets turned but the reticle didn't move.
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#28
I don't have experience with the three you mentioned. I was in a similar boat and tried the M5xi. I have not gotten it in yet.

My only experience with Athlon was with a person that had one at the range. The turrets turned but the reticle didn't move.
I'm just not ready to trust a Athlon on rifle I take on a hunt that I have invested 2K in.
 

lash

Swamp Rat
Sep 28, 2012
3,084
776
113
59
Central Florida
#30
The Athlon Cronus BTR initial shipment for market release happened less than a week ago. While I do have dealer status with Athlon, along with Mr. Optics Planet and Mr. MidwayUSA; I work as a consultant with those who are interested. Were any of my comments meant to mislead or sway? Not a bit...

The excitement of the Cronus BTR is much more than its super competitive price. This is not a sales pitch. More of a revelation. The Reveal of New Opportunity.

Your Opportunity, not mine; not other dealers'. Yours... if you seize it Dare To Compare!

Optic evaluation is subjective. Euro scopes and cameras all have compensated color balance to produce a heightened contrast and crispness to the user. They're different from Japanese or the long bygone American standards which sought neutral balance. We come forums to learn and share ideas, and try to discern what gear we might next choose to make our shooting better.

The Cronus BTR is an opportunity to obtain a new standard of excellence in many more ways than just finer Optic rendition and precision. Compact size is a benefit. Getting more versatility with mount options is a benefit. Zero-stop, superb ergonomics so you don't disturb your position is a benefit. Short ocular lens and mag ring is a benefit... 2032 battery is a benefit. Buy a few cheaply and they store great!

Even if you are not a beginning serious shooter unless some govt agcy or contractor group is buying your stuff; why not see if there is a New, Better Way?

If money is a Big Deal, and when isn't it? There superb quality and similar features with Athlon series at $1000 to $1200 less than the Cronus BTR...

To some degree, in a tactical optic the instrument which offers the .001 level of perfection will mesmerize the operator to attain the Nth degree the optic is capable of. Does the guy with a .05 capable scope benefit from being sooner on the trigger? After all, the scope is a sighting device first and foremost...

What I have seen from my Athlon Argos scopes that sell for under $400 is I had no reason to keep my two Vortex Viper PSTs or any of my 5 Leupold mk4s, although I will be keeping my 6x and 10x Ultra.

While testing grid patterns of 1/16" thickness at 100yds does demonstrate resolution. I need to get back to the airport and test for clarity and recognition at 1000yds. I have 15/20 vision and am experienced with the best camera gear in Lg, Med, & 35mm. Optics are subjective though. Do wish I had 20/15 vision, or was left handed...

More to come on testing, and in a few weeks there will be shooting at 1000yds possible here.

The Athlon products are very exciting and motivating. Dare To Compare. You might just have to SEE The Difference by becoming a user...
image_zpsoh4vf2ru.jpg?w=480&h=480&fit=clip.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Dec 8, 2011
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#33
You might consider the Minox ZP5 Tac, too. Competitive in every way with the scopes you're considering.
This is what I am saving up to get in the coming weeks. Have read enough on it to make it the choice for me. The MR4 reticle just looks great to me as well. Replacing a Bushnell HDMR. Considered the Kahles, NF atacr f1 and Vortex gen2. The Kahles with the SKMR3 would be my next choice.

Will be calling CS Tactical soon to help with some last second questions and pricing!
 
Mar 21, 2012
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#34
What kind of hunting rifle?
What kind of hunt?
Gonna be doin backpacking?

I don't think anyone ever asked... it matters, especially if you're walking mucho miles every day.
 

CSTactical

Sniper's Hide Vendor
Nov 18, 2009
5,780
228
63
Elk Grove, CA
www.CSTACTICAL.com
#35
This is what I am saving up to get in the coming weeks. Have read enough on it to make it the choice for me. The MR4 reticle just looks great to me as well. Replacing a Bushnell HDMR. Considered the Kahles, NF atacr f1 and Vortex gen2. The Kahles with the SKMR3 would be my next choice.

Will be calling CS Tactical soon to help with some last second questions and pricing!

We'll be here :)
 
Oct 5, 2014
64
1
8
Goshen, Ar
#36
What kind of hunting rifle?
What kind of hunt?
Gonna be doin backpacking?

I don't think anyone ever asked... it matters, especially if you're walking mucho miles every day.
300wm, McMillan edge tech stock, stiller Tac300, 24" Rem varmint Bartlein. It will ride in my Kifaru Mtn Rambler. Went to Idaho and Colorado last year. So weight is an issue for sure, but reliability is number 1. I usually pack to stay in 4-5 nights max.
 

Conrad

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 28, 2006
1,325
55
48
TX
#38
The AMG is the best overall pick if you are trying to save weight over the others. Just good luck finding one. However if you want to drop significant weight then maybe consider the March line. You'll get mixed reviews on parallax adjustment,but most people are happy with them. Wait a minute you said you're putting it in a Kifaru, ozs won't matter haha. Shameless plug for Kifaru!
 
Oct 8, 2012
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Glendale, AZ
#40
I have the Kahles K624i Gen 3 w. SKMR. Absolutely love it. No issues with CA in my opinion. My daughter used it on my 6.5 SLR to take a big muley buck at 637 yards last year. It is my favorite reticle I have ever seen. Perfect tracking, easy eye box, great features, great glass. Color is just a bit washed out compared to my two S&Bs. But on par with my Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27, but better everything else.

On several occasions, I have almost purchased a Vortex Razor AMG for the reduced weight, but it is only 3-4oz. lighter than the Kahles. I can shed that weight elsewhere.

I do not own a Nightforce ATACR F1, but have shot behind quite a few. The glass never impressed me that much. But a solid choice.

You might also look for also used S&B in your price range. They can be had for $2600-2800 all day long.
 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
2,052
65
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52
Philadelphia suburbs
#41
I shot my friend's K624i Gen III SKMR (with LH windage) equipped rifle today. Damn nice scope. Useful reticle. The top parallax and LH windage controls could prove to be a useful option and AFAIK only available on the Kahles as of right now. I'm not gonna run out and replace my ZP5s with Kahles just yet but I'll definitely consider one when it's time to get another scope.
 
Apr 6, 2017
305
5
18
Georgia
#42
I shot my friend's K624i Gen III SKMR (with LH windage) equipped rifle today. Damn nice scope. Useful reticle. The top parallax and LH windage controls could prove to be a useful option and AFAIK only available on the Kahles as of right now. I'm not gonna run out and replace my ZP5s with Kahles just yet but I'll definitely consider one when it's time to get another scope.
These are two of my top scopes in consideration, since there are relatively few people who have used both...if you had to do over again for one of these which would you choose? Do you have input on pros and cons of minox (currently my top choice)?
 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
2,052
65
48
52
Philadelphia suburbs
#43
One thing the SKMR 3 (I was not clear as to which SKMR reticle I tried) reticle curiously lacks is .2 mil hashes on the vertical stadia, which I've found to be useful when holding elevation corrections.
Admittedly I'm a little biased as I've been buying Minox optics for a while now, but there's no doubt now that their collaboration with Optronika has produced a great scope with, in the opinion of a few people I trust (including myself) simply the best optical performance available (except maybe a TT, yet to be verified).
Glass is not everything, though. So far the ZP5 has a good track record but there is no long term data available since it's relatively new. There are a lot more first, 2nd, and third generation K624i scopes out there than ZP5s, and it seems their reliability has been good.

If you're a glass aficionado (pronounced "whore") like me get the Minox. Don't take this to mean the Kahles doesn't have great glass, though, because it does.
If you like the idea of top parallax and LH windage controls (I do like being able to complete all scope adjustments with my support hand), get the Kahles. Or if you like the way it looks better, or like the name better, or for whatever reason, you won't go wrong with either.
 
Mar 21, 2012
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#44
300wm, McMillan edge tech stock, stiller Tac300, 24" Rem varmint Bartlein. It will ride in my Kifaru Mtn Rambler. Went to Idaho and Colorado last year. So weight is an issue for sure, but reliability is number 1. I usually pack to stay in 4-5 nights max.
I had a McM Edge with a Sendero SF and it was a great carry rifle! Also the .300win. So you're about 9-9.5lbs w/o scope? I had a Williams floorplate so was not a lightweight build...

What works? Since you have 4-6mos before your hunt you might consider the Athlon Ares. Cronus BTR is exceptional, but maybe more than you need? The Ares is a 30mm tube and 50mm objective with either 29 or 24 mils of elevation. Can get it in MOA if prefer, but it's got Light Optical Works glass and internals, but assembled in China. If you have an I-phone, you know China builds high tech and high quality. The Ares 2.5-15x and 4.5-27x will be available very soon and sell for $799 & $849. These have most of the great Cronus BTR features, but weigh half-pound less.
Check the catalog link. <http://athlonoptics.com/catalog-and-manual/>

Testing done Thu with the Cronus BTR showed its continual superb resolution at full range where I was (over 1500yds), and able to fine-focus on a 1" power line on neighborhood rated poles. Not like I could see the mfr code on the wrap or strands of bare wire, but crisp and well-defined. The cross-bar poles were likewise well defined and sharp. On a 5mi or further distant snow-coverd hillside, the Cronus BTR performed like a quality spotting scope. This Crispness at full 29x magnification.

To get Athlon/LOW resolution quality (maybe not quite this good as with Cronus BTR, but better than HD glass) and weight savings of 1/2 lb and be able to use lower profile rings These are some good advantages for the backpacking hunter. Then you have great clarity and tons of elevation movement, great for distance on steel. Then again, if 35 oz is not a deal breaker, the Cronus BTR is the Flagship!
 
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